21 Ways to Make an Environmental Difference in Pure Michigan

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Happy Earth Day! In honor of everything that’s being done to keep Pure Michigan beautiful, guest blogger Kerrin O’Brien from the Michigan Recycling Coalition shares a a list of things everyone can do to keep our state environmentally clean.

How many of these tips do you often keep in mind?

Earth Day provides us with an important reminder that recycling has become a critical foundation for environmental action. As the warm spring sun shines on Michigan, it is a day to celebrate the beauty found across the state and to remember that our vibrant and sustainable economy is dependent on upon a healthy and productive environment.we all can do to help keep the Great Lakes State clean.

While recycling has become universal with positive environmental action, it’s not easily accessible for all Michigan residents and businesses. There are economic and environmental benefits to capturing and utilizing the more than 4 million tons of waste that we put in Michigan landfills each year. But, Michiganders must rely on their communities, businesses and organizations to provide them with opportunities to recycle and ultimately contribute to a healthy state.

If you do have a rolling recycling cart to wheel out to your curb on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, you are well-served. Learning as much as you can about your program is not only good for the environment,  it can actually save you money. Find out what’s happening in your neck of the woods. Inquire about municipal services or subscription-based services with your hauler. Recycling is gaining traction as a valued public service and you can add your voice to the choir to ask for even better services.

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An easy way to contribute to a healthy environment and economy is to make recycling a priority in your business and home. What does Earth Day mean to you? A day to enjoy the outdoors? A day to take action against

There are also a variety of other ways to make a difference. Here are 22 ways you can make a difference!waste? A reminder of the importance of conservation?

  • 1. Turn off the water while brushing teeth and shaving
  • 2. Go Vegetarian for one day of every week
  • 3. Try to cut two minutes off of your daily shower
  • 4. Buy food, clothing and other items that are locally produced
  • 5. Adjust your thermostat to be 1-3 degrees lower for the day- each degree can save up to 10% in energy costs!
  • 6. Check that your car’s tires are properly inflated and air filters are clean. Maintaining your car means less used parts in a landfill.
  • 7. Get unsubscribed from constant junk mail that gets tossed away
  • 8. Bring your own reusable bags for shopping and pack your lunch in reused glass or plastic containers
  • 9. Bring your own reusable mug/bottle/cup or start a  BYOC (bring your own cup) initiative at your office
  • 10. Challenge yourself by air drying an entire load of laundry or washing with cold- warm water instead of hot
  • 11. Writing Action Day – Look at the things you use every day or buy often, are those companies using recyclable packaging? Are they using too much packaging? Or at the end of that products life are you able to dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way? If not,  let them know that as a loyal buyer of that product that you care about the end life and recyclability of those objects- write them a letter, go on their website or social media and let them know!
  • 12. Donate items, time or money – Old clothes, electronics and other household objects can often be reused or re-purposed in unique way
  • 13. Unplug everything – Maybe it’s your toaster, T.V., Cellphone charger or even cellphone
  • 14. Unplug yourself. Grab a board game, go on a walk, sports, read book or have a scavenger hunt!
  • 15. Dust the coils underneath or on the back side of the fridge
  • 16. Learn more about organic produce and plant vegetables in your yard
  • 17. Take the bus, ride a bike, carpool, or walk to one of your destinations or daily commute
  • 18. Get to know where you can reuse or recycle almost everything in your community
  • 19. Use less paper. Cloth napkins, e-tickets
  • 20. Use the stairs, open the door manually, open the door for someone else manually! Use a hand can opener, stapler, etc. Whatever could be done without electricity try it out, rake your leaves or yard clippings instead of using a leaf blower, go for a run outside instead of the treadmill
  • 21. Get educated- maybe there is an environmental issue you don’t know all the facts on- today get educated on something you care about

kobrienKerrin O’Brien has worked with the Michigan Recycling Coalition in a variety of capacities since 1993. In addition to managing the organization, her interest lies in building consensus and movement around pro-recycling policies that work for both the public and private sector. As a nonprofit development specialist and facilitator, Kerrin has led many nonprofit organizations through strategic planning and development efforts. She holds a Social Science bachelor from Michigan State University and has completed ICL’s Executive Director Development Program.

From Our Community: 10 Outstanding Photos of Our Beautiful Michigan Earth

In honor of Earth Day earlier this week, we asked our fans on Facebook and Twitter to share their photos of our beautiful Michigan earth. From flowering fields to singing streams and sandy shores, we were in awe of all the wonderful submissions!

What better way to showcase Michigan’s natural beauty than create a roundup of a few of our favorites. Here are ten outstanding photos from our fans to commemorate Earth Day 2014 and our beautiful Michigan earth. 

For more fan photos, visit our Flickr page or follow us on Instagram @PureMichigan

A crystal clear day at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Photo by Facebook Fan Marilyn Ang Cassell.

Pcitred Rocks National Lakeshore Marilyn Ang Cassell

Sugarloaf Lake near Schoolcraft. Photo by Facebook Fan MichiganPhyl Campbell Matteson.

MichiganPhyl Campbell Matteson Sugarloaf Lake Schoolcraft

Great view of the Mackinac Bridge. Photo by Facebook Fan Mandy Huff.

Mandy Huff Mackinac Bridge

Morning Hike on Isle Royale. Photo by Facebook Fan Lorentyna Baldus Harkness.

Lorentyna Baldus Harkness Isle Royale

Green trees and flowing falls in Munising, MI. Photo by Facebook Fan Kathryn Lund Johnson Nature Photography.

Kathryn Lund Johnson Nature photography Munising falls

Aquamarine waters at Arcadia Beach. Photo by Facebook Fan Karen Sue Packer.

karen sue packer arcadia beach

Sandy Sleeping Bear Dunes. Photo by Facebook Fan Jill Schultz.

Jill schultz sleeping bear dunesColorful Tulips in Holland, MI. Photo by Facebook Fan Gayle Unger Cooper.

Gayle Unger Cooper Tulip Time 2013

Rainbow along the Black River near Ironwood, MI. Photo by Facebook Fan Gary Jackson.

Gary Jackson Black River near Ironwood MI

Sunset over Ludington Beach. Photo by Facebook Fan Gabe Newkirk-Burkholder.

Gabe Newkirk-Burkholder ludington beach

Did you celebrate Earth Day this week? Let us know what you did! 

The State of Michigan Celebrates Earth Day 2013

Earth Day is coming up on Monday, April 22, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Equality (DEQ) is doing their part to celebrate and make a difference!

This Thursday, April 18, the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Natural Resources are coming together for the 2013 State of Michigan Earth Day Event at Constitution Hall in Lansing, Michigan. This event is both celebratory and educational, and feedback from teachers and schools has indicated that it’s been a highly valued learning experience for those who have participated in the past. In 2012, nearly 3,200 adults and students attended.

Thomas Occhipinti, Environmental Education Coordinator for the DEQ fills us in on what to expect at this year’s event:

The Program.  The Earth Day itinerary runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., featuring several performances from school groups to bands.  Following a performance, Director Wyant and Deputies from each department open the celebration, interacting with students and recognizing the poster contest winners. The Detroit Audubon Society Safe Passages program will present the State with an award for saving birds by turning off lights in tall buildings.

The Exhibits.  This event includes more than 50 interactive displays, developed and presented by the three departments and by organizations joining the celebration.  Displays will be staged both throughout the Atrium level and under tents outside the building.

The Participants.  More than 1,800 students, accompanied by 350 teachers and chaperones, from approximately 25 schools across Michigan will converge on Constitution Hall, to spend a portion of their day, learning how to protect the environment.  Several hundred staff children from DEQ, MDARD, and DNR are expected to join the event.

The Kindergarten 1st Place Poster by Matthew Devine of Elmwood Elementary School in St. Clair Shores

The Posters.  The 2013 Earth Day Poster Contest received more than 2,500 posters from 150 participating Michigan schools.  The 12 Earth Day Poster Contest winners, their families, and their teachers will be recognized and awarded prizes.  Prize donations have been collected from a number of organizations.

A replicated set of the 12 winning posters is being matted and framed.  This set of posters will be mounted and displayed somewhere in Constitution Hall.  A second set will be provided to the winners’ schools.  Original posters are returned to the families.

Trees.  More than 2,000 tree seedlings to be given to Earth Day participants.  An acre of trees can eliminate six tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year and produce four tons of oxygen.

Earth Day Michigan Activities.   A portion of our Earth Day website includes a listing of many Earth Day celebrations throughout Michigan.  You can go to a Michigan map, click on your region, and be linked to a list of Earth Day celebrations throughout the region.

Teacher Bags.  Some 200 special bags have been prepared for teachers; they contain materials appropriate for use in the classroom.

Will you or your child be participating in the State of Michigan Earth Day Event on Thursday?

To find other Earth Day celebrations happening across the state, visit michigan.org or michigan.gov.